A first home buyer’s opinion piece on the frustrations of purchasing a property has gone viral on social media sites.
In an article published on Friday in the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH), TV producer and freelance writer Tom Whitty wrote of his difficulty in buying a house.
“Oh man, I'm tired. I'm tired of the endless emails from my ever-optimistic girlfriend,” he said. “The ones with links to real estate listings of rundown, two-bedroom, inner-city dives that neither of us really want to live in and, together, we can't actually afford.
“I'm tired of the weekends spent travelling from one underquoted property to the next, only to be left feeling like an idiot when an auction opens above what would have been our final limit.
"I'm tired of the car trips back to our rented home, with my hopeful girlfriend talking about how the next property might be the one where we can raise some kids together.”
He also cited a number of factors, including a lack of political responses to negative gearing, investors in the form of baby boomers and a lack of regulation in the real estate industry.
The article generated 862 comments on SMH Online and 674 comments on social news site Reddit, was shared on 2,400 Facebook pages and tweeted 225 times.
Real Estate Institute of New South Wales CEO Tim McKibbin told Real Estate Business he empathised with Mr Whitty’s situation.
“I think the frustration that was coming through that article, I understand that,” he said. “I think we need to take this problem on and to start to look at first home buyers and understand the difficulties they face.
“When I finally bought my property I remember the relief I had at that time because I had my weekends back. When you’re constantly out there trying to get a property that you can’t afford and you’re consuming your day in this area, there’s a degree of frustration there.”
Director of Harcourts Launceston and CEO of Harcourts Tasmania, Tony Morrison, added that while he did not agree with everything in the piece, Mr Whitty raised some fair points.
“Some of what he says, I really get and I can understand that it is so much harder in a bigger city where the cost of housing and the cost of rent is so much dearer.”
In response to Mr Whitty’s criticism of the real estate agency as being “sharks ... spruikers and snake oil salesmen”, Mr Morrison said in every field there were bad individuals.
“There are obviously bad real estate agents. In my experience in real estate a majority of the people are good, decent people.”